Workshop: Nika Feldman | Tees & Tabs

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop is registration-only. Click here to save your spot.

Tees & Tabs Workshop

Saturday, March 16

Workshop Hours: 1-5 pm

Fee: $40 registration

In conjunction with the exhibition Spirits in the Material World, featuring a series of seven garment-like works made from recycled t-shirt fabric and aluminum can pull-tabs, Nika Feldman offers this special workshop. Participants will learn how to let these idiosyncratic materials direct their creative process. Feldman will teach basic embroidery techniques. All supplies included.

This class is limited to 20 participants, so make sure to register early! The $40 registration fee reserves your spot.

Click here to register.

Spirits in the Material World Events

Opening Reception: Friday, January 25, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 26, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Tees & Tabs Workshop: Saturday, March 16, 1-5 pm | Register`

Opening: Jodi Colella | Unidentified Women

RSVP on Facebook.

It started somewhere among the vast archives of the Historic Northampton Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fiber artist Jodi Colella was working on an art project inspired by the museum’s headwear collection, and she stumbled upon a series of daguerreotype portraits. “They were like little 19th century selfies,” Colella says. “I noticed that all the men in the images had every single detail of their life listed in the catalog. About 80% of the women were labeled ‘unidentified.’”

The artist was fascinated by these forgotten, female faces, and the contrast between the women’s fleeting social visibility and their invisibility to history. After hunting down similar portraits in flea markets and antique shops, Colella stitched intricate embroideries across the images, further obscuring the women’s identities. The body of work, titled Unidentified Women, makes its Santa Fe debut at form & concept on Friday, January 26 from 5-7 pm. Colella will appear at the opening reception, and also conduct an artist talk and preview on Thursday, January 25 from 2-3 pm.


Artist Talk & Preview: Thursday, January 25, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook.

Learn more about this exhibition.

Introducing Lisa Klakulak

Lisa Klakulak Artist Portrait- American Craft Magazine- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak. Photo by Michael Mauney for American Craft Magazine.

Lisa Klakulak first exhibited at form & concept this winter in Shifting Landscapes, our juried show with Surface Design Association. She’s a longtime member of the organization, and her work was a perfect fit for the place-themed show. Klakulak has traveled the world studying the textiles of diverse cultures, from Appalachia to India, West Africa and Spain. On her far-flung travels, she also takes in the flora, fauna and geography that surrounds her in search of inspiration. Her contribution to Shifting Landscapes captured the dynamism of glacial formations in a series of vivid blue necklaces:

Lisa Klakulak- Felt Necklaces- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Now Klakulak is one of our newest represented artists, and she draws inspiration from lava flows in a fresh series of wearable artworks. We’ve been eagerly learning about her travels and their impact on her work. It came as no surprise that she was featured in American Craft Magazine, in a lovely profile about her inclination for globe-trotting:

Travel is a crucial artistic resource for Klakulak. And yet art is not what compels her to leave home. “The places I’ve chosen to go are dramatically different from the world I live in. Travel turns my world upside down and challenges me,” she says. “My artwork is how I process these visual and emotional experiences. I wouldn’t say that I travel to make art; I make art because I travel.”

Klakulak has been artistic since she was very young, growing up in the suburbs of Detroit. Her interest in culturally diverse travel emerged in her teens. On one trip to the Caribbean with her father, she recalls being more intrigued by the people working at the resort than by the other guests. Then there was the eye-opening class trip to Nicaragua during her college years at Colorado State University, where she earned a degree in fiber arts in 1997. But it was two years after graduation, on a six-month spiritual and artistic quest with a boyfriend through India, Nepal, and Thailand, that she began to meld art and travel.

“It was the most monumental trip of my life,” she says. Forgoing the beaten path in favor of rural villages rife with textile traditions – once traveling a week by camel – she was taken by the “magnificence of work made with the simplest of materials. The poverty of materials and resources but the richness of the forms was totally inspiring,” she recalls. She gravitated to the highly ornamented Rajasthani embroidery of northwestern India and natural dye processes, as well as patterns in the landscape, and returned to the United States eager to expand her knowledge of fiber arts.

From there, Klakulak worked as a teaching assistant at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, where she took up the medium of felt in 2000. She went on to complete a two-year residency at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee. She taught felting and other textile techniques to public schoolchildren through the center’s outreach program, an experience that kickstarted her ongoing teaching work and advocacy for fiber art as an important component of the visual art curriculum. Now residing in a cabin in Asheville, North Carolina, she continues to create wearable textiles, accessories and non-functional sculpture. She also teaches workshops around the world, of course. “For me, the medium is life,” she told American Craft. “That’s the art; it’s what you do with your life.”

Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Tuff Ring Necklace, merino wool fiber, metallic silk organza, tulle fabric, cotton rope , cotton thread, found stones at Kalbarri Nat Park Western Australia, nylon netting wet felted, free-motion machine stitched, $900.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Intertwined Hoop Earrings, merino wool fiber, metallic silk organza, tulle fabric, cotton thread, found beach glass, sterling silver hoops, needle and wet felting, free-motion machine embroidered, $460.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Bracelet with 3D Tabs, merino wool fiber, cotton thread, waxed linen thread, stainless steel armature, leather, wet felting, naturally dyed with cochineal and osage, free-motion machine embroidered, hand stitched, $260.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Circuitous Path Choker, merino wool fiber, metallic silk organza, tulle fabric, cotton thread, found beach glass, wet felted, free-motion machine stitched, $1200.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Trampoline Earrings, merino wool fiber, metallic silk organza, tulle fabric, cotton thread, found beach glass, sterling silver hoops, needle and wet feling, naturally dyed with madder, free-motion machine embroidered, $430.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Wool Bracelet, merino wool fiber, cotton thread, waxed linen thread, stainless steel armature, leather, wet felting, free-motion machine embroidered, hand stitched, $240.

Click here to browse all of Klakulak’s work on the form & concept website, and make sure to read the rest of Melissa Reardon’s profile of the artist in American Craft.

Shifting Landscapes: Rena Detrixhe

Rena Detrixhe’s artwork in our Shifting Landscapes show has been a source of wonder and puzzlement since the exhibition opened in late February. Visitors have posited that the rug pattern filling a large swath of the floor in our upper galleries is made from ceramic, leather, silk and even cocoa powder. It’s actually loose dirt from Detrixhe’s current home state of Oklahoma, stamped with old shoe soles to form a trompe l’oeil tapestry. The piece, titled Red Dirt Rug, took the top jury prize in the show. Detrixhe’s work is also receiving accolades across the digital landscape. The popular art blog Colossal just posted about her work:

“This rich red earth is the land of the dust bowl, the end of the Trail of Tears, land runs and pipelines, deep fault-lines and hydraulic fracturing,” said Detrixhe in her artist statement. “There is immense beauty and pride in this place and also profound sorrow. The refining and sifting of the soil and the imprinting of the pattern is a meditation on this past, a gesture of sensitivity, and the desire for understanding. It is a meticulous and solitary act.” By using this fleeting form Detrixhe questions the permanent decisions that have been made to the region’s environment.

Alice Zrebiec, a curatorial consultant based in Santa Fe, also wrote favorably about Detrixhe’s work in a review for the Textile Society of America:

Its rich color has a visceral appeal while the delicate designs evoke textile traditions and traces of human passage. Installed without barriers, as Detrixhe prefers, the mutability and transitory nature inherent to Red Dirt Rug was readily evident.

Detrixhe discusses her work in the video above, and you can see images and read a full interview with the artist below. Shifting Landscapes is a juried show featuring members of the Surface Design Association, and its closing date has been extended to June 10. Make sure to come see Red Dirt Rug and other incredible fiber and fiber-inspired artworks in person!

Tell us about your work in Shifting Landscapes.

I’m here showing a recent work called Red Dirt Rug, which is an intersection of landscape, textiles, and research into the history of Oklahoma, where I’ve been in residence for the past year. 

You’re exploring so many different layers of that history. What has this rich, red dirt come to represent to you and other Oklahomans?

I think that the dirt means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It’s definitely symbolic of the region, and is related to a lot of these histories. I’m still finding out things all the time that I can bring into my work and talk about. 

I’m still really not sure if it represents all of the many things that I want it to. But it’s a very new body of work for me. I’m interested in furthering my research and continuing my work to see how it grows.

You’ve created several dirt rugs previously. How was the experience of making the rug for Shifting Landscapes new or different?

It was interesting for me to be able to show this work in a different state. When I’ve shown it before, it was in Oklahoma. And in a lot of ways, the work is about Oklahoma, although I think a lot of the things I’m talking about are universal, or deal with the United States and colonialism and a lot of these histories that are very universal for us. 

I think it has an interesting connection to New Mexico as well. This is a place that’s known for its landscapes, and its landscapes in art. And it’s also known for textiles and objects like rugs, and the sale of these objects. So I’m really interested in what it means for a piece like this to be shown here. 

Your work is so ephemeral, as we learned last night at the reception when someone accidentally swept away the corner out of it [to see the smudge, view the video above]. What’s your reaction to moments like that? 

I actually really love that smudge. I’m always aware that things are going to happen throughout the course of the show, because it’s going to be up for months and things will change over time. I love that there’s a little smudge in the corner, because it gives one more visual hint of how fragile and ephemeral the material is. 

In a show called Shifting Landscapes, your work is truly the most shiftable.

It’s pretty literal, yeah.

Did that really resonate with you initially when you first read the title?

It really did. And not just the title, but the description of what the show was trying to be. It’s about different depictions of landscape, and all the different things that can mean. It’s open to literal representations and more conceptual depictions of landscape, and puts that into a contemporary context. It’s so important to talk about these issues and how they relate to the earth. 

Could you describe your process, from shoveling the dirt all the way to creating the pattern?

I start by gathering buckets of dirt with a shovel, quite literally. Then I bring it back to my studio and process it, which means breaking it down to be fine, soft dust. I do it mortar and pestle style, breaking it down with a hammer and getting out the rocks. And then I sift it through various levels of screen, and then finally sift it through silk. 

Once I have the very fine soil, I spread that out on a fine, flat sheet. The pattern is made by imprinting the pattern with little stamps that are made from isolating the patterns on shoe soles. I work from the center outwards. 

I liken the process to the Tibetan sand mandalas. I think that’s the closest thing I can relate it to, both on a conceptual level of doing this meditative act, and also the time consuming quality of the work. 

When you de-install one of these pieces, do you find that difficult?

Like mentally hard? No.

You’ve learned to let go.

Yeah, it’s kind of fun. This time I won’t be doing it myself, so that will be fun too. But I don’t know, maybe we can record it. 

We did a time lapse when you installed it, and now we’ll do a time lapse of its destruction!

Yeah, and I’m still thinking about what ultimately will happen to the material. At this point, I’m saving the soil because I want to have the opportunity to show this work in different places. 

I’m interested in how the monks, when they’re finished with a mandala, they deconstruct it and take the sand to a river and release it. It’s the end of the cycle. I’d like to do something like that, but I’m still thinking about what that might mean.

Click here to see other posts about Shifting Landscapes on our blog, and browse the whole show here. Come see the exhibition during the opening reception for our new show, Deliberate Acts: SITE Scholar Exhibition 2016/17, on Friday, April 28, 5-7 pm.

Shifting Landscapes: Regina Benson

Unboxing the artwork for our Shifting Landscapes exhibition was a delightfully surprising process. Jurors Frank Rose and Erika Lynne Hanson digitally sorted through hundreds of submissions from Surface Design Association members who are scattered across the world. Seeing a small image of an artwork on a glowing screen is very different from lifting it out of a crate.

Case in point: Regina Benson‘s artwork for the show, V Restored Legacy, is an art quilt with a sculptural twist. There’s a shadow visible in the image that Regina sent us, but only when the work was on the wall did we fully understand the mesmerizing power of its dimensional qualities. The piece is designed to project from the wall and into the gallery, encouraging visitors to view it at multiple angles.

To create her artwork, the Golden, Colorado artist utilizes her knowledge of painting, drawing, textile surface design, engineering and architecture. Regina was in Santa Fe for the opening reception of Shifting Landscapes in February, and we interviewed her about her work. Scroll down to read our conversation, and click here to view more artwork from Shifting Landscapes.

Regina Benson- Fiber Art- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Regina Benson, V Restored Legacy, fiber, 42 x 46 x 3 in.

Tell us about your medium. How did you get into quilting?

I’m working with the concept of layering cloths, canvases, or papers. I can’t say it was a conscious decision. It’s just an outgrowth of the process of working with textiles. Some of my work qualifies as art quilting because of the layering techniques. It’s not always art quilting, because I do a lot of single layering, or different kinds of manipulations of textiles. 

When did you first start working with textiles?

A very long time ago. I worked for a while at the Kansas City Art Institute in the days when Fiber 101 was the only elective. It has gotten very popular now, so it has its own department. I was dissatisfied with the lack of dimension in painting. When artists in the 70’s started ripping the canvases off the frames and draping them, I was elated. And then the thought came, why use canvas in the first place? Why not silk, why not cotton, or linen? 

I also did some weaving. I would decorate, I would surface design, on my own woven cloth. Weaving your own cloth is extremely time consuming and tends to limit you. So I started making larger scale works. That forced me to try and find materials that I would purchase by the bulk and then manipulate. 

Regina Benson- Fiber Art- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico

Could you talk a little bit about the piece that’s in this show? I know that you’re often exploring both image making and turning these works into sculptures in their own right. Tell us about this piece and how that fits into this larger exploration. 

I was dealing with the concept of the remains of things, shards and remnants that are found and reassembled. I wanted the process of the making to reflect some of that itself, so the work required that I employ rust and oxide and burns. I tortured the textile.

It’s not just about objects, but the landscapes around us. You don’t see landscape as a single dimension, you see it in layers. In a small way, I was trying to convey the layering of the shards that might be discovered.

The reason I like to use Egyptian cotton for this process is that it’s a long staple cotton and it is very finely woven. Really expensive bedding is a thousand counts per inch instead of the two or four hundred thread count. That means it’s very tightly woven and it will be good for deposition of oxides and paint.

And then you actually paint on top of it?

I do. I’m using substances just like a painter would, to make the marks and contain them. I’ll also burn it, and then treat it so that it becomes permanent on the cloth. Otherwise, it would flake away. 

Regina Benson- Fiber Art- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico

Why remains? Where did that line of thought come from?

I’m Lithuanian, and our language is related to Sanskrit. I have been exploring what is left of our culture. I’m looking at the things I have to gather and assemble to keep and pass on. I try to do that as much as I can, visually. Sometimes it speaks to other people the way I envision it, and sometimes not. But it’s always interesting for me to hear.

It was a nice surprise for us at the gallery, because we had only seen images of it. We didn’t fully understand how big it was, and that it was going to extend from the wall.

It’s actually one of my smaller pieces, so thank you for saying it’s large scale. The shadowing is sometimes critical to the work, because it encourages people to go up and look underneath and look around. 

Regina Benson- Fiber Art- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico

It definitely does encourage exploration. If you’re really close to it, there’s a topographical quality to it. And then from the side or farther back there’s a different effect. 

It’s a conversation that I hope we get involved with. And obviously, many of the artists in the show are as well. It’s a beautiful show, I’m glad to be part of it.

Click here to see more artwork from Shifting Landscapes, and see the show at form & concept through May 20.

Uncommon Threads

Sarita Westrup Artwork- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Sarita Westrup, Piel de Canela, chicken wire, spices, plastic, screen mesh, safety pins, 32″ x 20″ x 2″

“Art is the best weapon against cynicism,” Frank Rose told Richard Eeds on KSVF 101.5 earlier this week. That’s our rallying cry for spring, as we open two new exhibitions that feature fiber artists from around the world. Come to tonight’s reception for Shifting Landscapes (presented in conjunction with Surface Design Association) and Mark Newport: Mending, and Saturday’s gallery talk featuring organizers, jurors and artists from both shows. Danielle Kelly, Executive Director of Surface Design Association, will appear at tomorrow’s event. For a preview, listen to her conversation  about Shifting Landscapes with Spencer Beckwith on KUNM.

Michael Abatemarco of Pasatiempo featured Shifting Landscapes in a lovely piece called “Uncommon Threads” today. Here’s an excerpt:

“The border region is a place shaped by limitations and separation, which generates a unique experience for its inhabitants,” writes artist Sarita Westrup, who lives on the Texas-Mexico border, in a statement about her recent practice. “Cultural geography, Mexican-American identity, spiritual icons, belonging, and landscape are ideas that I investigate and that visually inform my work.” She describes her relief wall-hangings, composed of found and recycled materials including paper clips, metal fencing, and rocks, as forming a nonrepresentational portrait of border identity. Westrup’s reliefs are included in Form & Concept’s juried exhibition Shifting Landscapes, which explores the notion of place in the work of textile and fiber artists and designers.

Click here to read the rest of Michael’s piece, and click over to the form & concept Facebook page to RSVP for both events. Local blog Santa Fe Arts Journal also featured these exhibitions on their homepage, so make sure to check it out.


All Over the Map

The Surface Design Association (SDA) has members all across the world. It’s no surprise that the featured artists in Shifting Landscapes, SDA’s third international juried exhibition, are a diverse and dynamic crew. The show will present fiber (and fiber-inspired) artworks that are traditional, non traditional and contemporary interpretations of place.

SDA Executive Director Danielle Kelly was particularly interested to see how artists of different nationalities responded to the theme. “With everything that’s happening environmentally and politically around the world right now, I can only imagine what many artists are thinking about as they make work for the exhibition,” Danielle told us a few months ago. “We can communicate things through art when words fail us. Sometimes the best place to talk about your world is through what you make.”

Watch the video above for sneak peeks at work by each of the artists, and read on for a small sampling of their remarkable stories. Shifting Landscapes opens at form & concept on Friday, February 24 from 5-7 pm.

Wendy Weiss Artwork- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Wendy Weiss, Litzmannstadt Getto 1940-1944, weaving, 2015-16, 53″ x 111″

Wendy Weiss

Wendy Weiss is an independent artist and weaver. Textiles, pattern, and power relationships drive Wendy and her studio work. Primarily a weaver and natural dyer, she works with other materials, most recently, digitally cut vinyl to create multi-color wall installations. She is professor emerita of textile design in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was awarded a 2014-15 Fulbright Nehru Senior Scholar Award, to follow-up on a previous Fulbright Award in 2009 to document ikat textiles from an artist’s perspective in India, and is a past recipient of two Nebraska Arts Council Artist Fellowships, as well as a Winterthur Residential Fellowship. She serves on the board of the Textile Society of America as External Relations Director and Newsletter Editor. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in North America, Europe and Asia. She uses natural dyes that she cultivates and collects locally.

Faith Kane Artwork- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Faith Kane, Regional Sampler- Wellington, NZ, Embroidery on non-woven paper, 2017, 66″ x 13″

Faith Kane 

Faith Kane is a design researcher and educator working in the area of textiles and materials. Her research interests include: design for sustainability; design/science collaborations; the role and value of craft knowledge within these contexts; and drawing for textiles. She is a Senior Lecturer and the Programme Coordinator for Textiles at the School of Design, College of Creative Arts at Massey University In Wellington New Zealand. She is also Editor of the Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice.  

Jodi Colella Artwork- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Jodi Colella, China Sampler 6, embroidery, 2014, 11″ x 9″

Jodi Colella

Jodi Colella works with a broad range of materials to create provocative, tactile works that often include public participation. She has exhibited at Danforth Art Museum; Fruitlands Museum; Wheaton College; Helen Day Art Center; World of Threads Toronto and Textile Museum Washington D.C., among others. She has received numerous awards including the 2016 Fay Chandler Emerging Artist, 2016 Fellowship ComPeung Thailand, Pollack-Krasner Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, and Somerville Arts Council Fellowships 2015, 2012. Jodi has taught nationally at Society for Craft in Pittsburgh, SDA’s Confluence in Minneapolis plus many local venues. She lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts and most days can be found lost in her studio.

Yuni Kim Lang Artwork- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Yuni Kim Lang, Comfort Hair (Nest), digital pigment print, 2013, 40″ x 46″

Yuni Kim Lang

Yuni Kim Lang is a Detroit-based visual artist who creates sculpture, installation, photography and performances that explore ideas of beauty, adornment and cultural identity. She investigates themes of weight, mass, accumulation and hair in order to understand her personal and cultural identity. Lang was born in Seoul, Korea. All her life, she has been living as a TCK (Third Cultural Kid). Raised overseas, formal training in New York City, Lang holds a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Metalsmithing (2013) and earned a BFA from Parsons The New School for Design (2009). Lang was awarded a merit-based grant at the Vermont Studio Center Residency (2014), a Red Gate Residency (2013) in China. Her work has been favorably reviewed in several publications including the American Craft Council, Groove Korea and Huffington Post. Lang’s work has been shown at venues such as the John Michael Kohler Art Center (Sheboygan, WI), Frost Museum (Miami, FL), Collective Design Fair (New York City, NY), Galerie Marzee (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and a solo exhibition at Sienna Patti Gallery (Lenox, MA).

Click here to read the full list of Shifting Landscapes artists, and make sure to RSVP for the opening reception on Facebook. Shifting Landscapes debuts on Friday, February 24 from 5-7 pm, and runs through May 20.